Sunday, February 18, 2018

Let Down By "The Chi"

Let Down By "The Chi"

As an African-American, Chicagoan, a person from "The Hood", and a writer, I was truly excited when I heard that there was going to be a series on Showtime that was going to be filmed here and show the world the real Chicago as seen from the standpoint of Blacks. I patiently waited for the premiere date and when it got here I parked myself in front of the television and watched.  Then................okay, it was okay. As a writer myself, I would've done things differently but hey, it's just the first episode. I'll see, the character background and storylines will pick up. It will be a hit; entertaining and elevating, giving the world a glimpse of what it's like to live a day in my shoes. That was weeks ago...........

Okay, it's Sunday again and frankly, I'm looking to find something; anything else that might be on. Unfortunately, I've been let down again by a show that is supposed to tell the world of the Chicago experience. A couple of shootings, a block party and some gang members hitting the freights. Basically, a show that could've been named; "The Philly, The ATL, The Saint Lou......You know what I am saying, whatever slick nickname inner-city residents give their city. There is nothing Chicago exclusive about the "The Chi". Nothing that tells the story of Blacks living in the most segregated major city in the nation; the most surveilled city in the country. I was expecting a show that highlights the plight of the Black Chicagoan in this millennium. A show that tells the story of Black Chicago, not just what the media gives the world, but the real story. What I received is another story about an inner-city incident that could've happened anywhere in the country.

It is impossible to have a show called the Chi and give a real account from the standpoint of one character or one group of characters residing in the same area. I grew up on 35th and King Drive, therefore my Chi is totally different than the Chi of a person raised on Francisco and Filmore. His Chi is different from the one belonging to the Chicagoan brought up on Damen and Montrose. All Chicago; but all different views of the same reality.

Please don't continue to be content with lazy writing, basic backstories, and stereotypical incidents. Leave that to the people behind Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med., etc. Please don't go the route of so many shows before you. Take the time to go deeper into the lives of the characters. Color their backstories with interactions with other people across this great city. I would like to see events that happen within their lives that include people that live in: Bronzeville, Chatham, Back of The Yards, Pilsen, Jefferson Park. Include the city and live up to the name that you have chosen.

You have a great opportunity to show the world, The Chi. The most Beautiful City in the World and the problems we, as residents of this city, encounter every day. Don't continue to stifle your characters because as of now "The Chi" is coming off as just another show about inner city life. I implore you, don't take the easy road, give the world us, the real us. The real Chi.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

WAIT…..WHY ARE WE PROTESTING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM?



With All the hoopla concerning the NFL, Colin Kaepernick, the POTUS and whoever else offered an opinion or seized the moment to give commentary; have we forgotten the reason the protest all began? The protest is for the murder and unarmed shooting of African-Americans in this country and the ability to get away with it. Back when the murder trial of George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin was ended with Zimmerman being cleared of all wrongdoing, I wrote an article entitled “THISJUST IN….. IT IS NOW LEGAL TO SHOOT BLACK MALES AT WILL.” At that time I didn’t know the prophetic tone that it carried. Since that article was published in the summer of 2013 here is a list of just a few shootings of unarmed blacks by police:

  •    On July 19th, 2017, Cincinnati, OH prosecutors decided not to pursue a third murder trial for police officer Ray Tensing, who shot Samuel DuBose in the head on July 19th 2015, killing him, after pulling him over for a missing front license plate. The prosecutor told the mother, "since there are more racists in Hamilton county than not, its pointless to pursue another trial because you won't get a conviction." Tensing was wearing a confederate battle flag T-shirt when he murdered DuBose.
  •  On June 18th, 2017, Seattle police murdered a 30 year old pregnant woman suffering from mental health issues, Charleena Lyles, while her 3 of her 4 children slept in the next room. No charges have been brought against the police officers.
  • On Feb 12, 2017, Jerimy Mathis, a white North Carolina state trooper shot 31-year-old Willard Scott twice in the back, killing him, as he was running away from the trooper after a traffic stop. Mathis was placed on paid leave, and no charges have been filed.
  • On July 18th, 2016, Police shot Alfred Kinsey, a mental health therapist who was unarmed, while he was helping an autistic patient in a park. Kinsey was lying on the ground with his hands in the air and trying to negotiate between officers and his patient when he was shot. Both Kinsey and his patient were unarmed. Following the shooting, Kinsey stated he was handcuffed and left bleeding on the ground for 20 minutes with police giving him no medical aid. Authorities stated that they were investigating the incident, which received significant media attention following the appearance of cellphone video footage. The officer who shot Kinsey was arrested in 2017 and charged with attempted manslaughter and negligence. However, he remains employed and has not been fired.
  •  On July 6th, 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer. Castile's girlfriend live-streamed the murder, showing Yanez pointing the gun at both her and her daughter. After Yanez was acquitted of all charges on June 16, 2017 by a jury, a video of the murder was leaked, showing Philando openly disclosing that he had a firearm on him, only to then be shot point-blank 5 times. According to author and former FBI agent Larry Brubaker, who has written two books on officer-involved shootings, "this is the first time an officer has been charged for a fatal shooting in Minnesota in more than 200 cases that spanned over three decades"
  •  On November 5th, 2015, Two police officers shot and killed 24-year old Jamar Clark. The cops were placed on paid leave. Protests over the shooting lead to another act of terrorism where 4 white men shot 5 Black lives matter protesters.
  •  On April 12, 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old Black man, was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department for possessing what the police alleged was an illegal switchblade under Baltimore law. While being transported in a police van, several cops held him down, putting pressure on his spinal cord, after which he fell into a coma and died on April 19, 2015. This sparked a series of protests in Baltimore; riot police responded violently, and called in the national guard to aid against the "thugs", as they were labeled by Obama in a press conference. After the protests were put down, the police officers were given separate trials, and all of them were found innocent.
  •  On March 30, 2015, After being pulled over for rolling through a stop sign, Floyd Dent was beaten by officer William Melendez, who had a history of civil complaints for brutality. Melendez punched him 15 times in the temple, put him in a chokehold, until another officer arrived and tased him. Melendez repeatedly threatened to kill Dent, and plant drugs on him.
  •  The shooting of Walter Scott occurred on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, following a daytime traffic stop for a non-functioning brake light. Scott, an unarmed black man, was murdered by Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer. Slager was only charged with murder after an eyewitness video surfaced which showed him shooting Scott from behind while Scott was fleeing, and which contradicted his police report. Without the video, the shooting would've likely been deemed justified, as nearly all murders by police result in no charges.
  •  On November 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio, two police officers killed 12 year old Tamir Rice, after receiving a call that he had a weapon. It turned out to be a toy.
  •  On November 14, 2014,Albuquerque New Mexico police officer Keith Sandy killed a mentally ill homeless man, Boyd. Sandy told another officer: “For this fucking lunatic? I’m going to shoot him in the penis with a shotgun here in a second.”, then killed Boyd 2 hours later. Sandy chose voluntary retirement(in order to avoid an internal investigation) and a pension, getting 70% of his pay for the rest of his life.
  •  The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis. Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white Ferguson police officer, after robbing a convenience store. Protests in Ferguson erupted after the murderer was found innocent, evoking a militarized crackdown on black protestors by the predominantly white police force. After his mother and some supporters put flowers and candles on the spot where he was killed, police ran over the spot with their vehicles.This systemic pattern of murder of unarmed black civilians spawned the Black Lives Matter(BLM) movement.
  •  The shooting of John Crawford III occurred on August 5, 2014. Crawford was a 22-year-old African-American man shot to death by Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams, in a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio, near Dayton, while holding a toy BB gun.
  • On August 5th, 2014, Tulsa Oklahoma police officer Shannon Kepler shot and killed his daughter's 19 year old black boyfriend, Jeremy Lake, after Lake tried to shake his hand. After the killing, he fled the scene, and neither called for medical help, nor stayed to talk with police. As of July 2017, there have been 3 deadlocked trials.
  • On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York City, after a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer put him in what has been described as a chokehold for about 15 to 19 seconds while arresting him. A grand jury found the officer Pantaleo innocent, sparking a series of nation-wide demonstrations against police brutality of blacks
  • On April 30, 2014, a police officer, Christopher Manney, shot and killed Dontre Hamilton, a black man with a history of mental illness, at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After the shooting, Manney applied for duty disability, saying the shooting and its aftermath caused him to experience severe post-traumatic stress disorder, after being fired. No charges were brought against him.
  • On March 3rd, 2014, Police claimed 22 year old Victor White shot himself while handcuffed(behind his back) in the back of a Louisiana state police car. A later autopsy revealed that he was shot in the front by a right-handed person (he was left-handed). Yet, the Iberia Parish coroner continued to declare the death a suicide. 

We love our country. To question an African-American’s love for his country is ridiculous. Remember, unlike most of this country’s residents, we did not come here by choice. Since the first
African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, our people have given their blood, sweat and tears to build this country. In every war, we have stood side by
side with our captors in defense of a constitution that not only was not created with us in mind; a constitution that had enslaved us.  For the same constitution that saw us as 3/5th of a man; we fought and died like giants. The contributions of the African-American people toward the society that we know and love today are immeasurable; equally immeasurable is the system of racism and bigotry, (covert and blatant) levied toward our people.  Despite the fact that for 400 years we have been sold, lynched, disrespected, spat upon, lied to, defiled, exploited and profiled;we look upon this flag and the promise it represents. We bravely and boldly endure; believing adamantly, so adamantly that we teach our children to believe, that
if we strive for excellence, we will realize the American Dream.


DO NOT allow other media based, Trump initiated propaganda distort the reality of what is really being protested. It IS NOT our military; past, present or future that we protest. Our military represents our protection from enemies domestic or foreign. They stand watch, without fail, to protect a life and lifestyle of democracy that we embrace. It is not the singing of a song that America has adopted to pay honor to fallen heroes and the land that they died defending.What is being protested is:
              ·   Acts of violence perpetrated by those sworn to enforce the law and protect its citizens.
·    Legislature that permits the profiling and subsequent harassment of citizens based on the color of their skin.  

·    Laws passed that aid in the mass incarceration and recidivism of African-American and Latin people.
·   The day to day violation of the constitutional rights of a people by those paid to create, interpret and enforce laws supposedly made to uphold the same constitution and its rights.

It’s not about sitting or standing, it’s about the blatant disregard of constitutional rights and the government’s unwillingness to address these matters. Individuals that choose to sit, kneel, interlock arms etc., during the singing of the national anthem are not in violation of anything. On the contrary; they do this peaceful protest because it is their constitutional right to do so. It is done to bring light to THOSE that disrespect the flag through hatred, bigotry and prejudice. It is actually those individuals that are guilty of murdering the very citizens that they are sworn to protect and the system that allows them to commit these acts and go unpunished. These individuals are guilty of disrespect the flag, our military and our constitution. Let’s address the issues that are causing the protests.








































































Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, August 4, 2017

Seven Child Serial Killers

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Solution To Violent Crime-Parental Guidance Suggested

I would be remiss if not a full blown hypocrite if I did not address the acts of depravity committed daily here in my own city. The word depravity means moral corruption or wickedness. What act of moral corruption or wickedness is there greater than that of a parent disregarding his responsibilities to a child? The senseless violence that has permeated Chicago neighborhoods as well as neighborhoods around the country can be traced directly back to the lack of not only a positive male role model within the home and in the community, but the lack of a family unit at all.

As an advocate for prison reform I have and will continue to point out injustices throughout our legal system, however as a man first and foremost I will call it how I see it. For the most part, perpetrators of inner city violent crime are not forty something males. Old men aren’t riding around with their buddies gunning up public parks. Young adults and teenagers, (more specifically young males) are the trigger pullers, but the accomplices are the men & women that brought them into being. How, one may ask? There are great responsibilities in becoming a parent. Parents play a direct role in whatever their children become; positive or negative. When parents are not actively participating in the development of their children; someone or something else will. Whether its music videos, video games, neighborhood drug dealers or other children, the void will be filled.

As with most crime, inner-city violence is committed in areas that the perpetrator is familiar with. The serial killer plots his attack against members of his own community, not only because he is easily camouflaged but also because of his ability to remain close to that which he despises. The same applies to inner city violence. A young man grows to loathe his current socio-economic situation. Without positive familial reinforcement, he seeks that what is lacked in the home from the streets. In the streets the young man acquires a warped sense of morality, justice and values from other like-minded youths.

Several parents have abandoned proven effective traditional methods of raising children and embraced time outs or becoming our child’s friend. Other parents have given up “parenting”, all together allowing children to simply “grow up” forcing them to deal with the harsh realities of life on their own. Many parents have turned away from their own morally sound upbringing to indulge in lifestyles that accentuate the pleasures of “immediate gratification,” thereby destroying the likelihood of establishing a respectful parent-child relationship. These factors, combined with the massive numbers of fathers that are currently incarcerated, create a climate ripe for the senseless violence that we see, read & hear about today.

The socio-economic stresses attached to inner city life can be challenging but not insurmountable. The challenges are increased when a child has to face the world without the vital tools for success that only caring parents can provide. Needing support to handle day to day struggles, the child turns to his peers for assistance. Misguided youth become misguided young adults who are ready, willing and able to misguide their peers as well as other youths in the community. Parents have allowed themselves to be replaced by these peers, as well as, by various forms for entertainment such as video games, television and music lyrics. Through constant exposure to these forms of media that emphasize misogyny, violence and indifference toward life and without responsible parents to enforce the value of true morality and work ethics, the child forms a warped, “code of ethics.”

The lack of parental guidance denies a child of the ability to deal with day to day obstacles in a rational manner. The ability to use logic instead of emotions to solve problems is a skill that falls within a parent’s scope of duties. Without the capability to apply logic to a difficult situation and arrive at a reasonable conclusion, the emotionally charged child engages in a violent confrontation often ending in tragedy for an innocent victim.  
Emotionally Charged Youth May Mean Tragedy for Innocent Victims


Without self-respect, success of any type is unattainable.  A child that does not respect himself cannot and will not respect parents or authority figures. If the child continues on this self-destructive path of disrespectful behavior, negative contact with law enforcement is inevitable. It is these young people; lacking the respect for self and others and possessing a false sense of entitlement, that commit the majority of community based violent crime. Self-respect, or the child’s lack of it, falls squarely upon the shoulders of the parents. Self-respect creates strong moral character; strong moral character prevents many incidents of senseless violent crime from ever being committed.


Community based violence is the result of many components; I would dare to say that most, if not all, can be traced back to ineffective parenting.  It would interest me to see just how many of the perpetrators actually come from homes where both parents had an active role in their childhood development. Parents must regain the power that they have given to the streets, the TV and the radio by becoming parents again. The only way to end the violence that infect our communities is for parents to not just talk but to show children through their actions that true success must be attained through education and work. Morality & integrity cannot be found in the street and are not the responsibility of teachers and schools but must be addressed in the home. Respect of self and of others cannot be found in books but must be conveyed from the hearts & minds of parents to their children. To solve the problem of violence in our neighborhoods, parents must raise their children instead of allowing them to simply grow up, therefore, in an effort to save our communities; parental guidance is suggested.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

THIS JUST IN..... IT IS NOW LEGAL TO SHOOT BLACK MALES AT WILL

“NOT GUILTY” Verdict in Florida has Affirmed the Legality of the Profiling & Murdering of African-American Men

Saturday, July 13, 2013; a Florida jury of 6 women has affirmed that it is legal and recommended that white men feel free to instigate a fight, lose the fight then shoot unarmed Black men. In one of the worst miscarriages of justices in American history, George Zimmerman has been acquitted in his shooting of unarmed child, Trayvon Martin. The 6 person jury found that Zimmerman was within his rights to disobey 911 orders, stalk, engage in a fight then ultimately murder a child of color. A dismal cloud of grey hangs over Florida and over America. The just us membership has once again flexed the power of its membership against the African-American people.
Contributing to this travesty was a piss poor attempt by the prosecuting attorneys of Seminole County. At no point, during the course of this trial did the prosecutors even attempt to tell the court or the world the real story. What was told, were the ridiculous accounts of the murder that Zimmerman gave to police and to the media. His lies and inconsistencies were obvious to all those who have paid the slightest amount of attention over the last year and a half. Standing idly by as the defense twisted the truth, the prosecutors did nothing to present any semblance of a sincere effort to find justice for the slain youth. The prosecution simply “threw the fight,” and allowed a child murderer to remain free.
As the wheels of the judicial system continue to turn and grind the African-American people, we can now add one more injustice into the annals of American history. As the system continues to use the “War on Drugs,” for the mass incarceration of Black men, we are continually reminded for whom this country’s justice system was designed. On February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida an unarmed child lay slain in the rain, Trayvon’s soul cried out for justice; justice that is supposed to be blind. On Saturday, July 13, 2013 lady justice regained her sight and said,” no matter how far you THINK you’ve come, Black man, justice is not now, never have been and will never be for you, Black man, just us”.
Slain Youth; Trayvon Martin
Shooter: George Zimmerman

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Despicable Acts of The Wannabe Mom

The most beautiful event in the world is the birth of a child, in stark contrast, the most evil and despicable act in the world is the murder of a child. As I read & research various topics to post here for your enlightenment & enjoyment, I came across an act so inherently evil that there must be a special place in hell reserved for this woman. Even if souls of the condemned were to fill Hades into no occupancy status there will be a room filled with the hottest fire and brimstone set aside with the name Tiffany Hall boldly emblazoned on the threshold.

Tiffany Hall and Jimella Tunstall had been the best of friends. Having grown up together and attended the same schools, the two were thought to be inseparable. As many young women do, both girls had begun creating families early in their adulthood. Despite previous issues with her own children, Hall was a trusted baby-sitter to Tunstall's children. On September 15, 2006, this friendship came to a tragic end.

During a routine visit all hell broke loose when Tiffany Hall viciously attacked Tunstall with a table leg. Hall beat Tunstall mercilessly in the head with the table leg until she was unconscious. She then duct taped her mouth, hands & feet and drug her incapacitated friend to the bathroom, laid her in the tub then proceeded to remove the unborn fetus from her abdomen. Using a pair of scissors, Hall performed a crude Caesarean section on Tunstall. The procedure proved fatal for both mother and child.  The child was stillborn and Tunstall bled to death in the bathtub. Hall then wrapped the corpse of her deceased friend in a shower curtain and hid her in a plastic container in the basement. Eventually Hall dragged the body outside and left her in to a lot with high weeds behind the house where she was found.

Unsure of what to do with the deceased fetus, Hall contacted the police in Frank Holten Park in East St. Louis. Hall told the officers that she had gone into labor and gave birth to a stillborn child. Her story to one officer is that she had gone in to labor during a rape; another officer was told that the miscarriage came while engaging in consensual sex. At the hospital, the baby showed no signs of trauma and Hall would not let doctors examine her.

Three days later, Hall visited the father of two of Tunstall's children and the unborn child. The father was caring for all the children. Hall told the father that Jimella sent her to pick up the children and her vehicle. Knowing about the years of friendship between the two women, the father didn’t think twice about releasing them to her care. Hall brought the children to Tunstall’s home where she proceeded to drug them and killed them one by one. Under the pretense of giving them a bath, Hall drowned each of them, DeMond Tunstall, 7, Ivan Tunstall-Collins 2, and Jinella Tunstall, 1; in the same tub that their mother met her untimely demise in. She hid their dead bodies in a washer and dryer in the apartment.

Under the impression that he was about to be a father, Hall’s boyfriend returned from active duty in the Navy to attend what he thought was his child’s funeral. Naming the baby, Taylor Horn, Hall made funeral arrangements with L. King Funeral Chapel. According to records, Hall called the funeral home minutes after services were to start, asking if she could reschedule for a different day so more relatives could attend. At the time of the call, only two people were in attendance. Hall herself showed up two hours late, ultimately signing an affidavit for the funeral home stating that the child was hers. It was during the funeral that Hall confided with her boyfriend that the child wasn’t his nor hers and that she in fact had killed her friend and taken her baby. She was arrested after he reported the confession to police.

Upon her arrest Hall confessed to the police about the murder of Tunstall. She was arraigned and held on $5 million dollar bond. Her arrest prompted an immediate search for the 3 children. After receiving a tip police questioned Hall again; she then admitted murdering the children also. The bodies of the children were found in Ms. Tunstall’s washer & dryer.  In an effort to keep Hall off of death row she entered a guilty plea in a deal that allows her to avoid the death penalty. Tiffany Hall was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Invisible Prisoners: Why Are So Many Children, Especially Girls, Placed in Solitary Confinement?

Invisible Prisoners: Why Are So Many Children, Especially Girls, Placed in Solitary Confinement?